When considering a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, your doctor will be particularly interested in hearing about your symptoms, when they started and how they've eased or progressed over time.
Your diagnosis also will be based on a physical examination and tests. These tests may include:
Medical conditions that can mimic MS include metabolic or vitamin deficiencies, unusual infections, inflammation of the blood vessels of the brain, degenerative disorders of the nervous system or cancers that have spread to the brain. This is why blood tests, X-rays, brain and spine MRIs, and spinal taps to analyze cerebrospinal fluid may be required before a diagnosis of MS can be made with certainty.
A diagnosis of MS is based upon an evaluation of your symptoms along with the results of your physical exam and tests.
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.